MANILA – Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat on Monday welcomed the appointment of Liloan, Cebu Mayor Christina Frasco as the new chief of the Department of Tourism (DOT), noting that the agency is ready for a “smooth turnover” to the new administration.

In a statement, Puyat expressed “high hopes” for Frasco’s arrival and said the National Tourism Development Plan (NTDP) 2022 to 2028 will be turned over to her successor.

“We will also be turning over the reformulated Tourism Response and Recovery Plan (TRRP), which served as the department’s road map to the tourism sector’s full recovery from the devastating effects of the Covid-19 pandemic,” Puyat said.

She highlighted the DOT’s transparency and accountability, receiving an “unqualified opinion” from the Commission on Audit (COA) in the last two years, the highest rating given by the agency for reporting financial statements fairly and correctly.

She also showcased the DOT maintaining ISO 9001:2015 certification for “four years in a row” and expanding its quality management system coverage to three additional regional offices.

“I will bow out of the department secure in the knowledge that the industry is back on its feet: borders have reopened and the livelihood of those dependent on tourism have gradually been restored,” Puyat said.

She said Frasco can “bank on” the gains of the Duterte administration for “sustainable and regenerative” tourism practices not only in Boracay but also in many other tourist destinations in the country.

“The Department is ready to make the next big strides to even greater heights under the leadership of the new secretary,” Puyat said.

Earlier, Frasco has been named as the new tourism secretary of incoming President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.

Aside from being the mayor of the municipality of Liloan, Frasco served as the spokesperson of Vice President-elect Sara Duterte since July 2021.

Frasco is the daughter of Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia. (PNA)